Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thistle Loses A Horn

This morning when I went into the goat area to feed the goats, Thistle was standing off by himself on the hill.  He came over to me, like always, and I immediately noticed that one of his horns was dangling on the side of his face.  I tried to pull it off and he yanked his head away and skedaddled as far away from me as he could.

All of our goats were de-horned as babies and they all have little stubs where their horns would be.  Thistle's horns started to grow back and then stopped, at about two inches long.  He must have gotten it caught in the fence or something.

I went back to the house and called our vet.  The horns of goats are connected to their skull and when they break off they leave a hole straight into the sinus.  There are two big dangers with a goat breaking a horn: one is infection and the other is shock.  Either one can cause death.  Goats are fragile animals.

Our vet gave me instructions and we got to work.  Thank goodness we are in the dead of winter so flies aren't a problem.  I gathered a bucket of supplies in the barn and we isolated Thistle in the goat shed.  I sprayed the area with antiseptic and then Brett held Thistle across his lap.  I put a guaze pad over the bloody hole and wrapped it with vet wrap.  Thistle screamed like I had stuck a knife in his heart when I started wrapping.  After three or four ear splitting screams he went limp.  I wrapped under his chin, across the guaze, around an ear and back under.  I kissed his sweet face and told him he would be okay.  His limp body scared me.  We were afraid he was going into shock.  But when I finished, he scrambled to his feet and then hid under the goat shed bench.

This evening, we opened the goat shed door so the other goats can get in.  The first of a series of rain storms may arrive during the night so the goats needed to be in their shelter.  That, and a mountain lion killed a deer on a neighbor's property two nights ago so we wanted the goats in.  Our vet said the wrap should stay on for as long as it stays.

Thistle is my favorite goat, my special buddy.  Right now, he won't come near me.  He stands at a distance and gives me the stink eye.  I'm hoping he pulls through this (I think he will) and we go back to being friends.


18 comments:

  1. i'm hoping the horn came lose so it can heal! poor baby! i had my dog, thelma jean, wrapped up like this for 2 days recently - coyote snagged her ear and it wouldn't stop breaking open and bleeding. *sigh*

    i hope thistle will be okay!

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  2. I'd say that you were able to help Thistle in time...should be ok. Nice wrapping job. Now you are getting rain? We are still freezing back here.

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  3. oh no!!! I hate those darn scurs!!! We make sure when our goat babies are de-horned that they scoop out the horn burn with the hot iron and have yet to see a scur. This is also the main reason we dis bud because we use mesh fencing and a horn can easily get caught in the fencing...

    I sure hope he pulls through! Please keep us updated on his welfare!

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  4. Oh the poor little guy :(
    Will the horn come off completely given time, or will you have to nip it off?
    Hope he's ok and forgives you eventually

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  5. So sorry for the little guy - that must hurt like the dickens - hope he's OK soon.

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  6. Aww..I hope he heals ok! Looks like it hurts; poor guy. I'm sure once he is feeling better he will be back to himself!

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  7. Sending good healing vibes for Thistle. You did a great wrap job.

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  8. Oh poor Thistle! Good wrap job. I hope everything heals up (and he forgives you) quickly.

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  9. poor guy!! looks like you got it under control quickly. I helped the vet saw off a crooked horn on my neighbors goat last month. First time I had to catch a goat that was an experience hehe ~Love Heather

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  10. This too will pass and he will once again be your buddy! He looks like he has one of those fancy scarves around him....tell him how handsome he is with his new clothes!

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  11. Hope your goat is soon better. A long while ago we used to breed goats -British Saanen and Toggenburgs. Goats, as Churchill said of pigs, will look you straight in the eye on equal terms.

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  12. Oh, poor baby, who can blame him for the stink eye? He looks so sweet and I hope he will be OK. It sounds like you got to him early.

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  13. Poor Thistle. That must hurt like h--l. I feel sorry for him. Nice wrapping job and I'm sure he will be fine and your best buddy in no time.

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  14. oh poor thistle. Keep us posted. Bring him treats and he'll forgive you.

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  15. thank goodness youre a good momma and you check on them - sounds like you took care of it in time and get better soon, Thistle!

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  16. Sometimes a parent has to do something that displeases a child, for their own good.

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  17. Oh no! Sounds so painful and serious. I am so glad this never happened to any of my goats (yet). Cocoa had a much shorter stub of a horn that somehow got knocked off and it was raw and tender - but not bad at all. I use the purple spray for everything. Funny though - she has a habit now of shaking her head when she meets me at the gate - the way she did the day the horn broke off.
    Poor Thistle - but he is in good hands.
    Still lovin' their house!!

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  18. Poor little thing,hope he wets well soon.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.